FEATURE: Lipsey still sees value in 7-on-7 as his Bearcats head to state

With the State 7-on-7 Tournament rapidly approaching, the game does have its share of detractors who insist the hyped-up version of “touch” football  can teach players bad habits. 

Some head football coaches don’t even attend the games, and college coaches aren’t allowed to.

So, while some may be tempted to ask the question if 7-on-7 is actually worth the investment, others insist that it is. 

Count Ballinger head football coach Chuck Lipsey among the latter. 

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Big Country Preps Baseball-Softball All-Hustle Team: Our hardest-working players!

OTHER 2019 ALL-BIG COUNTRY PREPS TEAMS

Our All-Big Country Preps Softball and Baseball Teams, released Friday and Saturday, respectively, are in place to honor those who achieved the most on-field success in 2019. It is off the field, however, where character, grit, and work ethic are often measured. And it is with our Big Country Preps All-Hustle Team that we wish to honor those players, male and female, who were (simply put) the hardest-working, best teammates in the area this spring. 

This team isn’t about who the best baseball and softball players were.

The All-Hustle team honors effort, discipline, toughness, coachability and selflessness — traits that coaches wish they had in every player and upon which championships are built.

It is for that reason that this team is largely selected by area coaches and described in their own words.

Big Country Preps is now honored to present these individuals to you — the best team players (boys and girls) that the the Big Country had to offer during the 2019 season.

The players below are listed in no particular order. 

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All-Big Country Preps Baseball Team: First-Team Roster

Here are our first-team selections for the inaugural All-Big Country Preps baseball team. For the rest of this year’s selections, click the links below.

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All-Big Country Preps Baseball Team: Second-Team Roster (w/ honorable mention)

Here are our second-team selections for the inaugural All-Big Country Preps baseball team. For the rest of this year’s selections, click the links below.

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2018-19 IN REVIEW: Baseball (w/ two photo galleries)

Prior to the release of our All-Big Country Preps softball and baseball teams on Friday and Saturday, Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood will review the 2018-19 school year throughout this week and the top athletic stories produced by the area in football, boys and girls basketball, baseball and softball.

The 2019 baseball season was a wildly successful one for schools in the Big Country Preps coverage area. Wall won its first state championship in program history, Albany got back to the Class 2A state tournament for the second time in three years and a number of other programs made deep playoff runs and/or took big steps forward.

Now, it’s time to take a look back at the season we just completed and celebrate the teams and games that made 2019 unforgettable.

Without further ado, let’s dive in and hit the highlights.

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2018-19 IN REVIEW: Softball (w/ two photo galleries)

Prior to the release of our All-Big Country Preps softball and baseball teams on Friday and Saturday, Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood will review the 2018-19 school year throughout this week and the top athletic stories produced by the area in football, boys and girls basketball, baseball and softball.

I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for fastpitch softball — I admit it. 

A long time ago, it was common for men to play the game. My dad played it. I played it. So I still thoroughly enjoy getting to as many girls softball games as possible — just to see some fastpitch again.

So, it is with pleasure that I review the the 2019 season — the top teams, the top games, the top surprises and the clubs that are about to make a splash in 2020.

 That said, it’s time to dive in.

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BCP Podcast No. 51: Evan, Daniel discuss Baird’s move to six-man, look back at 2018-19 athletic year

With Baird’s decision this week to join the six-man football ranks, which follows a trend set in recent years by fellow Big Country Class 1A schools Rotan, Gorman, Bronte and Roby, the Bears will be entering a whole new world this fall.

On this week’s Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast, Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood explore that transition from all angles. 

Also in this week’s episode, Evan and Daniel take a look back at the 2018-19 athletic year and discuss some of their highlights from the football, boys and girls basketball, baseball and softball seasons.

2018-19 IN REVIEW: Boys basketball (w/ two photo galleries)

Prior to the release of our All-Big Country Preps softball and baseball teams on Friday and Saturday, Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood will review the 2018-19 school year throughout this week and the top athletic stories produced by the area in football, boys and girls basketball, baseball and softball.

Any season that ends with two teams in the state tournament is a successful one, so the Big Country’s 2018-19 boys basketball campaign would certainly qualify.

With Brock advancing to the Alamodome in Class 3A and Jayton doing so in 1A, area teams kept us captivated until the final day of the high school season. And even those whose runs ended short of that ultimate goal gave us some great storylines to follow.

Today, we look back on the highlights of the most recent boys basketball season and remember the teams and games that helped make it such a special one.

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2018-19 IN REVIEW: Girls basketball (w/ two photo galleries)

Prior to the release of our All-Big Country Preps softball and baseball teams on Friday and Saturday, Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood will review the 2018-19 school year throughout this week and the top athletic stories produced by the area in football, boys and girls basketball, baseball and softball.

Our review of the 2018-19 athletic school year continues today with girls basketball, which, while it didn’t produce a state title for the Big Country, was never boring. 

It is a long-standing Big Country hoops tradition to be very strong in both Class 1A and Class 3A girls basketball, and last season was no exception. 

The area sent two representatives (Wall and Hermleigh) to the state tournament in San Antonio, continuing the area’s stronghold in both classes.

That said, let’s not waste time. Let’s dive in and take a look at the season’s highlights, shall we?

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2018-19 IN REVIEW: Football (w/ two photo galleries)

Prior to the release of our All-Big Country Preps softball and baseball teams on Friday and Saturday, Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood will review the 2018-19 school year throughout this week and the top athletic stories produced by the area in football, boys and girls basketball, baseball and softball.

Before we dive into last football season, let me begin with a quick thank you. With a full year now in the books, BigCountryPreps.com enjoyed a successful first campaign, and that is entirely due to you — the Big Country sports fan. 

We are already chomping at the bit to begin our second year in business and we’ll be preparing our 2019 Football Preview throughout much of the summer, with a release date set for mid-August.

Which brings us to the subject at hand. 

Midway through the 2018 football campaign, Daniel Youngblood and myself were already concurring that it was one of the strangest seasons we had ever experienced. And by December, I felt compelled to write about that very fact

Here’s a quick sample: At various points, 2018 produced a 7-0 Dublin team, a 13-0 San Saba team and 1-9 clubs from Sweetwater and Goldthwaite. How’s that for a reversal of recent history?

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PHOTO GALLERY: 7-on-7 Division III state qualifying tournament (93 images)

Photos may be purchased for $7 each by clicking on the small shopping cart emblem below the lower right corner of the gallery. Our company watermark “BigCountryPreps.com” will be removed from all purchased photos.

RELATED STORIES/GALLERIES

GROUND-ORIENTED WINTERS NEARLY PASSES ITS WAY TO STATE TOURNEY

JIM NED QUALIFIES FOR STATE ON ITS HOME FIELD 

PHOTO GALLERY: DIVISION II STATE QUALIFIER AT JIM NED

 

7-ON-7 FOOTBALL: Ground-oriented, option-loving Winters nearly passes way to state tourney

On a typical Friday evening in the fall, the Winters football team may throw the ball five times — 10 if desperate measures are required.

The flexbone-based Blizzards under coach Matt McCarty have made their living on the ground, reaching the playoffs for two straight years via the triple option. 

Nonetheless, McCarty saw fit to include his team in the annual statewide 7-on-7 competition, a pass-only “touch” football game meant to hone high school passing games to a fine edge over the summer. 

It subsequently stunned nearly everyone in attendance Friday at McMurry University, coming within a victory of passing its way to the Division III state tournament in College Station. 

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7-ON-7 FOOTBALL: Jim Ned claims state berth on home field

The Jim Ned 7-on-7 State Qualifying Tournament was a good one for the home team Friday as the Indians rallied for a 33-13 win over Llano in the event’s semifinals to earn their second straight trip to the Division II state tournament.

Jim Ned, the only Big Country team to advance past pool play, trailed Llano 13-6 late in the first half but scored a touchdown and conversion on the final play before halftime to send the teams to the break tied at 13. The Indians then outscored the Yellowjackets 20-0 over the final 20 minutes to punch their ticket to College Station on June 27 and 28.

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BCP Podcast No. 50: Wall’s Jason Schniers talks state title with Evan, Daniel

Fresh off leading the Wall baseball team to its first state championship in program history, coach Jason Schniers took a few minutes to chat with Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood about the Hawks’ dream season, the Wall community’s reaction to his team’s championship run and the future of his program for this week’s Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast.

Also in this episode, Evan and Daniel recap the Fellowship of Christian Athletes All-Star Festival.